My son (3rd yr zoology in the UK) has an exam tomorrow, in which the task is to write an essay on the history of a(ny) branch of science. The idea is that the students can research and prepare their essay in advance and in the exam write it down from memory.
Now, my son has prepared his essay (on a subject obvious given his degree) only to find out less than 48h before the exam (tomorrow morning) that his topic is identical to that of an example essay published by the department online (but of which he was unaware) and which is quite similar to his. Obviously, if now writing his essay as intended, it will come across as plagiarised.
Q1: So what can he do? Q2: What should the lecture do (a) if informed/asked by the student or (b) if not informed by the student, but finding the coincidence upon marking? Q3: Can the marker simply assume plagiarism or do they have to prove it?